UAB Rallies Past Gamecock Softball

BIRMINGHAM – UAB rallied to overcome a five-run deficit and hand the Jacksonville State softball team a 13-5 loss on Tuesday night in nonconference action at the UAB Softball Field.

Junior Sallie Beth Burch doubled twice and senior Chrissy O'Neal went 2-for-3 to lead a 10-hit attack by the JSU offense, but it would be UAB's 10-hit effort that proved the most effective on the night. The Gamecocks (6-8) used a four-run fourth inning to build a 5-0 lead but watched the Blazers (14-5) rally to tie it in the fifth before ending the game in the bottom of the sixth.

UAB got two hits each from Mandy Lowman and Hailey Glynn, while Issa Brown drove in three runs on a sixth-inning double.

O'Neal got the scoring started in the top of the first after her leadoff single set up an RBI single to center from Kaycee Crow that plated O'Neal and gave the Gamecocks the early 1-0 lead.

JSU stretched that lead to 5-0 in the fourth, thanks to a four-hit frame that started with one-out doubles from Amanda Crow and Sallie Beth Burch and saw RBI singles from O'Neal and Hillary Downs before UAB finally got out of the inning.

The Blazers answered and answered quickly, scoring four runs in the home half of the fourth, thanks to a Mandy Lowman leadoff homer and a two-run double from Martina Landrum that cut the Gamecocks' lead to one. UAB would tie it up with another in the fifth, when Kate Armstrong's RBI ground out scored Donna Plath from third.

Burch got things going for the Gamecocks in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double to right center, but they couldn't push the go-ahead run any farther than third before the Blazers got out of the jam.

UAB would make the Gamecocks pay in the bottom of the inning, when the Blazers loaded the bases with no outs before scoring three runs on a pair of JSU errors. They would eventually plate five more runs in the inning to end the game via the mercy rule.

Junior Ashley Eliasson started the game in the circle for the Gamecocks and worked into the fifth inning before being chased. She allowed five runs on four hits and three walks, while recording one strikeout. Freshman Hilary Phillips (3-2) suffered the loss after surrendering eight runs, only two earned, on six hits in 1.2 innings of work.

Alisha Smith started for UAB and was pulled in the fifth after allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits in four innings of work. She did strike out six and walk one before giving way to Amber Torres, who tossed 1.1 scoreless innings. Lauren Webster recorded just two outs but earned the win in relief.

The Gamecocks will look to get back on the right track this weekend, when they compete in the South Florida Under Armour Showcase Tournament in Tampa, Fla. They will open play on Friday with games against Indiana and Cleveland State.